Goodbye 2020 (And Good Riddance)
Well, what a tsunami of shit this year has been. I think most people would agree that 2020 has been an altogether rubbish year. The arrival of this new coronavirus, COVID-19, to our lives was definitely not welcome nor has it been in any way pleasant. Increasing restrictions on our daily lives – including how we’re able to work, shop and socialise – had a serious impact on mental health and wellbeing, never mind the financial effects of those restrictions.
In my annual end of the year round-up post, I usually look back over the year as a whole and pick out the highlights as well as any challenges my family and I faced. There’s usually a comparison between what happened through the year, and my New Year hopes and goals post from the January of that year. It’s safe to say that 2020 has in no way resembled what I thought it would shape up to be when I wrote that positive outlook at the start of January. How naively hopeful I was. How blindly optimistic.
The First Lockdown
From the start of lockdown here in the UK, mid-March, I struggled with the changes to our day-to-day lives and found it all increasingly difficult. I don’t want to linger too much on this topic, as I was finally able to articulate my thoughts and feelings about this whole thing in my related piece back in June: Libido Lockdown: How Coronavirus Killed My Sex Life.
As in the past few years, I was hoping from January to resume my intense fitness plan after the revelries and excess of Christmas 2019. Shed the festive pounds and regain my fitness and enjoy being the healthy, confident me. This was especially so seeing as I was to reach the big 40 in July, and wanted to celebrate in happiness and style.
Covid put paid to all that.
Sure, I wasn’t physically ill. I didn’t have things as bad as some other people – my partner and I work from home anyway, I have transport (despite not really being allowed to go anywhere any way) and we didn’t suffer too much financially. The mental impact of lockdown was incredibly tough for me though, and as I said in my Coronavirus blog in June – I just couldn’t exercise at all. I didn’t want to, I didn’t see the point, I was so disappointed with everything, frustrated -and had the stress of the boys at home rather than at school to contend with, as well as attempting to work from home which may also have been ‘possible’ in theory, but in reality was like breathing soup.
Through the murky haze of lockdown #1, and in spite of it, an idea for some coronavirus themed erotica was brewing. In April I wrote Brave New Anti-Virus World, which is extremely filthy and which I hope you thoroughly enjoy. It was intensely pleasurable to write.
Our Birthday Celebrations
Looking towards our birthday month, July, was very different in 2020 compared to the past few years. As I’ve mentioned, I was 40 this year –I had planned a big celebration. In the end we ‘bubbled’ with a good friend and her husband, as allowed during the week of our birthdays, and enjoyed a muted but still very fun party day at our home. We went all out on the decorations, I dressed up, there were presents and drinks and a BBQ with a marquee in our garden. Even a spot of rain in the afternoon didn’t dampen spirits. Plus, minnie gifted me my very first car!
Ok, so it wasn’t the birthday I had planned for my 40th but I still enjoyed it. I didn’t have much choice, really! Hopefully plenty of years left to arrange big parties and get togethers in the future, once this virus is happily behind us.
Speaking of which… We set the date! D and I have been engaged since Christmas 2016 and we thought it was high time we got round to actually getting wed. Trying to think positive and giving ourselves a focal point to look forward to, we decided on a day in summer 2021. Really hoping we’ll be able to have the wedding we’ve planned. Everything’s in place for a superb day with friends and family – I’m really looking forward to it.
Despite the constant background of doom and gloom throughout this year, we were lucky enough to enjoy a couple of family trips away, in between national lockdowns and other social/travel restrictions.
In August we enjoyed a week in Cleethorpes Haven for a ‘caravan holiday’, and in October, for Halloween week, we had a ‘hotel holiday’ in the Premier Inn on Skegness seafront. The week away in August included my eldest’s birthday, while the week in October included my youngest’s birthday, which added an extra celebratory layer to both getaways.
Although we put decorations up at home for Halloween, we were actually still away in Skeggy on the 31st October 2020. Both my boys aren’t really into trick or treating anyway; not that it was advisable for anyone this year. It was a rainy day (of course!) so we headed to Skegness Pier amusements complex and well had a fantastic day bowling. It was youngest’s first time ever and he absolutely loved it!
Christmas & New Year Celebrations
Once home from our final getaway of the year, and after we’d unpacked, and taken down the Halloween decorations and returned them to the loft, it was time to look ahead to the end of year celebrations. Instead of celebrating a wonderful year, it felt more like celebrating that the year was actually, finally coming to an end. Like reaching a destination when you’ve been car sick for hours. Or putting the full stop to your final answer at the end of an hours-long, intense exam.
Not that January 1st 2021 will magically herald an end to all things COVID-19 (or political dramas, come to that), but the start of a new year does always feel like a chance for a fresh start. Even if that’s ‘just’ attitude-wise. Plus, the facts are that (at the time of writing, late 2020) there are highly effective vaccines on the horizon to battle this terrible, globally devastating virus. The giant orange baby is finally leaving the White House. By the end of summer 2021, I’ll finally be married to the love of my life, after 10 years of shared adventure.
Things are looking up.
I hope you’re all able to ring in the New Year with plenty of cheer, and that you have a wonderful 2021.